You’re probably tired of hearing about all the dangerous chemicals in absolutely everything you touch… To be completely honest, I get super tired of it too. Sometimes I start to feel a bit crazy and wonder whether or not I’m the paranoid one. (Some of you may be nodding emphatically at me right now…)
BUT, I think the biggest problem is that we live in a culture in which manufacturers are profit-driven and consumers will buy whatever gimmicks they are given. SO, if a manufacturer markets a product as smelling fabulous and being luxurious for the skin, the consumer (us) generally wants to (and should be able to…but sadly can’t) believe that it is safe and good and does what it claims. Unfortunately, regulations on what is safe have been reduced to whether not there are severe, immediate, provable reactions. Basically, they make sure we aren’t washing our hands in straight bleach or brushing our teeth in gasoline. Aside from that, it gets a little sketchy.
Most of the biggest dangers in our products are either longterm damage, or side effects that come after a buildup from a few uses. AND, we have so many things we use every day, that something as potentially preventable as an itchy rash reaction to an ingredient is instead diagnosed as ‘contact dermatitis’ and prescribed a cream to treat it. OR, a condition that is much more life-affecting, such a thyroid disease, severe menstrual issues, or even PCOS could potentially be stemming from a lifetime of using various products (and eating various foods) that are endocrine and hormone disruptors. And these are just a few examples of course.
But this is why we tackle all of these aspects of our households and lives. It’s not just a witch hunt or some nebulous fear of the ‘un-organic’. The results of each swapout may not be immediately tangible (or they actually might!). But collectively, we are striving to purify our lifestyles to heal our own health issues (thyroid, adrenal, autoimmune, etc) and hopefully help you do the same in your life!
I know most of our posts are about DIYs and recipes. However, there are a few things we still buy, rather than make. I want to share these with you guys in a blog series of ‘Super Simple Swapouts’!
These are little changes that might have big effects on your health. It’s as simple as choosing a different bottle of shampoo or bar of soap.
First up in this series of swap outs is…
It seemed like a good start to me, considering we use it, well, all day! (At least I HOPE you all do!) It’s such a key element of basic hygiene that we don’t think twice as we pump it on and scrub it off.
There are two main types of hand soaps out there (I’m sure there are more if you want to technical, but just go with it!).
There’s just basic hand soap, which has plenty of issues of its own, believe it or not… And then there’s… antibacterial hand soap! It sounds so much…cleaner. But frankly, it’s a load of trouble with little payoff.
To begin with, antibacterial hand soap doesn’t really get your hands much cleaner. The key to that is good hand washing practices. Warm water, friction, and some time. Try singing your ABCs for an idea of how long. You’ll only get a few funny looks in public restrooms. ; )
Anyway, antibacterial hand soap also destroys the good bacteria on our hands that are designed to fight off the bad guys. It does so with harmful chemicals, such as Triclosan. This nasty stuff has recently been getting some bad press. It causes muscle damage, as well as disrupting hormones. When it mixes with chlorine in tap water, it creates chloroform. To make things better, it was originally registered as a pesticide and is still used in commercial applications. Yuck!
So what about the regular stuff?
Softsoap Warm Ginger and Coconut:
Water, Sodium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium chloride, cocamide MEA, fragrance, sodium salicylate, sodium benzoate, citric acid, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium sulfate, polyquaternium-7, PEG-18 glyceryl oleate/cocoate, poloxamer 124, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, hydrogenated jojoba oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract,Ext. D&C violet no. 2.
Frankly, there’s just too much to tackle here without putting you guys to sleep. Soooo… we’ll hit the high – I mean – lowlights.
Sodium laureth sulfate: Damages skin and hair by denaturing them so that external contaminants can penetrate deeper. Can damage children’s eyes. Can also cause liver toxicity. Disrupts hormones by mimicking Oestrogen in the body. Potential carcinogen.
Polyquaternium-7: Causes organ toxicity. Potentially linked to cancer.
Fragrance: Guess what? No one (but the company) ever knows what this means. It could be one of over 200 chemicals, packaged under a cute, innocent-sounding name. And regulations don’t require the chemical of choice to be listed specifically, because it is a ‘proprietary blend’ or ‘trade secret’. Even more lovely is that it could be a lethal cocktail of many different chemicals. Some are carcinogens, some are neurotoxins, some cause reproductive issues, and others respiratory distress. The list goes on.
So what now?
Last I checked, skipping handwashing wasn’t the best choice…
Well, there are a few options.
Sheila’s favorite is Thieves handsoap. It has natural antibacterial properties from the essential oils in it, is completely non-toxic, and smells great to boot! You can buy the individual foaming dispensers from Young Living and then buy a refill bottle of concentrate that is much cheaper. Or, if you already have dispensers on hand, just buy the refill to start out! You only need a little bit of the concentrate in your handsoap dispenser and can fill the rest of the way with water. If you aren’t a member of Young Living and want to purchase some, feel free to contact us!
Amberlyn’s current favorite is Dr. Bronner’s castile soap**** that you can buy here. It comes in multiple scents, such as peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rose. We use almond, which has a nice, mild scent.
It is very concentrated, so you only need about a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 ratio of soap and water. I put mine in an old foaming hand soap dispenser and it goes pretty far.
There ya go! A super simple swapout to get you started on your journey to better health!
****Now, a disclaimer, my (Amberlyn’s) wonderful, researching mother (Sheila) recently brought to my attention that Dr. Bronners is somewhat more alkaline than our skin pH and has lye in the ingredients list. This raises a bit of concern to me and I’m currently looking for a more balanced castile soap. But to be honest, I’m not super worried about it compared to the ingredients of most handsoaps. However, mama (Sheila) finds it much safer and purer to stick with the Thieves handsoap in the meantime! Until I find an alternative, it is still my option of choice. If you know of others, please feel free to comment and let me know! I’ll keep y’all posted on what I find!
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